Our guide to fashion illustration courses


Do you have a passion for everything Chanel and Armani? Do you have a flair for art? If you have an eye for fashion, paired with a steady hand and a talent for art, then you might dream about becoming a fashion illustrator. Our list of fashion illustration courses will help you to hone your skills and become the next Vincent van Gogh of the fashion world.


What does a fashion illustrator do?

When it comes to fashion illustrating there is a lot of obscurity over what the job actually entails. The fashion illustrator works for a designer or design house to get their ideas down on paper as a visual representation. They will use their creativity to put the designer’s ideas into an actual picture using either freehand drawing or computer design software. These illustrations will be the first example that fashion stylists and buyers see of the designs before they decide to buy them and clothe their models.  The stunning illustrations will also be used to attract a target audience and be turned into adverts for the internet, TV and print publications. The illustrators will have to be highly intelligent on latest fashion styles and fabrics to create these eye catching works of art.


Why become a fashion illustrator?

The fashion industry can be a glamorous career path, have you ever wanted to see some of the fashion capitals of the world? Mumbai? New York? Milan? Barcelona? If the answer is yes then a career in fashion illustration can take you to all these places and more. You could be working around the world with some of the most famous design houses such as Armani or Chanel. You will be attending modelling events and parties and building up your networking portfolio.

Unfortunately the fashion industry is renowned for its competitive nature and your career won’t start off nearly as glamorous as this. To become a fashion illustrator you really have to be passionate about what you’re doing; it should be your hobby and your dream. Starting out will be a hard, uphill battle, but if you are passionate to succeed as a fashion illustrator you will enjoy even the hardest moments of your career.



While there are no specific requirements to become a fashion illustrator, taking a course or degree in an art related subject can help to put you head and shoulders above the other candidates. With employment opportunities in the fashion world being extremely competitive, courses in art subjects such as fashion illustration, fine art, and illustration can help to improve your skills and make you stand out. Art skills are essential but fashion illustrators will also be required to work their magic on computer design software. Courses in computer-aided design (CAD) and Photoshop will allow you to transfer your creative panache onto the computer screen. When it comes to working with customers and promoting your work, as a fashion illustrator a good business sense will be key, especially if you become freelance, and courses in business management can teach you more about becoming self-employed.


How to become a fashion illustrator

Now you’ve finished your course you will be thrown into the real world, this will be one of the most difficult parts of becoming a fashion illustrator yet at the same one of the most exciting. During this period finding time to work as an intern will build on your experience and help you to make new networks. These networks will become invaluable to you, as you progress and build a name for yourself in the fashion industry as these contacts will offer you freelance contracts and possibly even jobs. These freelance jobs will all build upon the portfolio you have been creating, and as your reputation grows you’ll eventually be able to land yourself that dream job.


Some hints and tips

Start a blog: Posting your illustrations on a frequently updated blog will help to showcase your work while also gaining exposure for yourself as a brand. Maybe you could take a WordPress course?

Draw, draw, draw: Never stop drawing and designing. Drawing and designing frequently will help you to build a solid portfolio and also show your progression as an artist.

Move to the city: Unfortunately, for anyone living far from a fashion capital, the fashion industry is only based in very large cities. London is the fashion capital of England and there aren’t many fashion jobs outside of London in the UK.

Network: Whenever possible try to meet new people from the fashion world. Go to networking events and do lots of work experience. This will make it easier to get freelance contracts in the future.

Work placements: Getting on-the-job experience will prove to prospective employers that you are willing to get stuck and that you’re up to the task.

Search fashion illustration courses now Read less